Often times at professional meetings, i am presented by well meaning colleagues with anecdotal reports of how and why the implant system they use is superior to others. But, as dentists, we need to look carefully at such claims, and evaluate things in an evidence based manner. The Cochrane review recently looked at this issue, and concluded that there may be evidence of some differences between smooth and rough surface implants, but no evidence to support the superiority of one system over another. Here is an abstract from the study.
Interventions for replacing missing teeth: different types of dental implants
There is limited evidence showing that implants with relatively smooth surfaces are less prone to lose bone due to chronic infection (perimplantitis) than implants with rougher surfaces. On the other hand implants with a turned (smoother) surface might be at greater risk to fail early than implants with roughened surfaces. There is no evidence showing that any particular type of dental implant has superior long-term success.
Missing teeth can sometimes be replaced with dental implants into the jaw, as bone can grow around the implant. A crown, bridge or denture can then be attached to the implant. Many modifications have been developed to try to improve the long-term success rates of implants, and different types have been heavily marketed. More than 1300 types of dental implants are now available, in different materials, shapes, sizes, lengths and with different surface characteristics or coatings. However, the review found there is not enough evidence from trials to demonstrate superiority of any particular type of implant or implant system.
This is a Cochrane review abstract and plain language summary, prepared and maintained by The Cochrane Collaboration, currently published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011 Issue 1, Copyright © 2011 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.. The full text of the review is available in The Cochrane Library (ISSN 1464-780X).
This record should be cited as: Esposito M, Murray-Curtis L, Grusovin MG, Coulthard P, Worthington HV. Interventions for replacing missing teeth: different types of dental implants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD003815. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003815.pub3
Editorial Group: Oral Health Group
This version first published online: October 21. 2002
Last assessed as up-to-date: August 10. 2007